Stuff On Sunday: Six Degrees of Separation

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Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman were inspired to create this meme by a short story titled ‘Chains’ in which Hungarian writer and poet Frigyes Karinthy first coined the phrase ‘six degrees of separation’. Based on the idea in Karinthy’s story, Emma and Annabel will choose a book each month, and link it to five other books in a chain, inviting their readers and other bloggers to join them by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.

The great thing about this meme is that each participant can make their own rules. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.

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The first book chosen by Annabel and Emma is Hannah Kent’s, Burial Rites.

Burial Rites is a fictionalised account of the last female prisoner executed in Iceland in the late nineteenth century.

Like Burial Rites, Kate Forsyth’s historical novel, Bitter Greens, is inspired by a real figure, Charlotte-Rose de la Force.

Bitter Greens is set in the late 1500’s to 1600’s, and its is that time period that forges a link between it and Kirsty Eagar’s Saltwater Vampires.  Saltwater Vampires twists the famed mutiny and massacre that occurred after the shipwreck of the Batavia off the West Australian coast in 1629 into a vampiric legend that centuries later endangers a group of teenagers during the summer holidays, and the residents of  the coastal town they live in.

From Saltwater Vampires  you can make the leap to Snake Bite by Christie Thompson which features another group of teens during summer vacation, though Jez and her mates are stuck in urban Canberra. A coming of age story set in the suburbs of Australia’s capital during the 1990′s, Snake Bite is a story of adolescent rebellion and discovery.

In Snake Bite the mother of the main protagonist, Jez, is an alcoholic, as is Sarah’s in Nelika McDonald’s The Vale GirlIn this novel, fifteen year old Sarah Vale goes missing, yet few, including her mother, seem to care.

In contrast, Dee is devastated when her teenage daughter goes missing while holidaying in Argentina in Traces of Absence by Susan Holoubek. She makes annual pilgrimages to South America to search for Corrie hoping to discover the girl’s fate.

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So that’s it, six books linked by six degrees of separation, though the more observant of you might notice the entire chain is also connected, as each book is by an Australian author.

Please note that clicking on the title links will also take you to my review for each book.

Visit Emma‘s or Annabel’s blogs if you would like to join in with this meme or to browse the intriguing connections from bloggers who are participating.

 

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. laurelrainsnow
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 09:18:54

    What an intriguing meme! I’ll have to try this some time.

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    • annabelsmith
      Apr 17, 2014 @ 16:27:55

      Please do join in Laurel – our next edition is on Saturday May 3rd with Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. And you don’t even have to have read the first book in the chain – you can just make connections based on what you know about it/your expectations.

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      Reply

  2. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 09:34:01

    This looks like a fun meme. Might have to give a go in the future sometime.

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    Reply

  3. booksaremyfavouriteandbest
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 10:58:22

    Again, such a different path! I have enjoyed reading other bloggers responses to this meme fascinating.

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  4. Mystica
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 11:39:27

    This is a lovely meme. I like the link by the Aussie author specially. Traces of Absence caught my eye. A new one for me and one I am making a note of.

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    Reply

  5. herschelian
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 11:52:56

    Great idea for a meme. I’ve just read Burial Rites – a beautifully written but sad book – it has just been shortlisted for the 2014 Bailey’s Prize (formerly the Orange Prize) in the UK.

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    Reply

  6. Wendy Beach
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 14:05:45

    Fantastic list :) Love the six degrees of separation idea.

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  7. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 17:36:14

    What a great way to feature an interesting collection of titles – highlights the diversity of work by Australian authors. Will have to try this one day…

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    Reply

  8. gyrl1214@aol.com
    Apr 13, 2014 @ 23:08:16

    I loved seeing your connections! Absolutely fantastic.

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  9. annabelsmith
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 16:29:20

    So glad you found time to take part Shelley Rae. Bitter Greens is a great connection, and a book I’ve had on my TBR for ages – good to have a reminder to move it up the list!

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  10. Daystarz Books
    Apr 19, 2014 @ 18:19:56

    What a great meme! Enjoyed seeing your connections Shelleyrae.

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    Reply

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